When Morgan Bullock takes the stage this spring as part of the dance troupe in Riverdance, it will add a little bit extra to the 25th anniversary tour.
Bullock will be breaking ground as the first African-American female dancer in the program.
“I just feel so honored and so excited to be a part of the show as it’s returning to American audiences,” Bullock told the Associated Press.“I hope that the tour reaches even wider audiences.”
The tour begins March 4 in Salt Lake City for three shows, then heads to the Midwest and East Coast through the end of June.
And Bullock will be a part of all of it.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Bullock, 22, studied at the Baffa Academy of Irish Dance. The tour will be her U.S. professional stage debut after recently completing a European tour with the show.
For Bullock, Irish dance has fascinated her since she saw it performed when she was just 10 years old.
“Irish dancing in general is just something that I’ve felt deeply since the first time that I saw it — it was something that I was supposed to be doing,” she said. “For one reason or another, it has stuck with me.”
The European tour was special for Bullock, who told Virginia Commonwealth News that it was an emotional experience.
“It’s been amazing and surreal to be on stage with this group,” she said. “That first Riverdance show, when the lights came on and I saw the full audience, it was not just me who felt so emotional, everyone in the company did. We talked about it. We all got a little teary. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to perform in front of an audience. It’s been great.”
Riverdance producers were aware of Bullock after she attended a Riverdance summer school in Boston when she was a teenager. But it was a series of viral TikTok videos that she posted that brought attention to a new level.
Bullock tapped and kicked to songs by Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, among others, drawing huge audiences.
“We were just so impressed with how she was handling herself; the poise, the articulation, her ability to communicate when she posted those videos,” Padraic Moyles, executive director of Riverdance, told VCN.
“She held herself so well when she experienced critical comments to her social posts,” he continued. “She showed grace and humility, maturity and poise, and so many other terrific aspects to her personality that really helps her stand out for not just the dancer she is, but the person she is.”
Touring has been a new experience for Bullock, who was more accustomed to competitive, individual dance.
“Being a show dancer is more about working as a team,” she said. “Getting to see new cities that I’ve never been to, having the opportunity to see another part of the world and experience different cultures has been amazing so far.”
And now she’ll experience much of the United States.
The tour will travel to big cities like Boston, Washington D.C., Kansas City, and Pittsburgh, but it will also hit smaller areas like Green Bay, Wisconsin; Bangor, Maine; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In total, the Riverdance tour will make 34 stops over nearly 4 months of shows. The highlight is the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C.
Bullock is enjoying being part of the team, but she understands she is breaking ground.
“This is important because growing up, I didn’t really have anyone that looked like me that I could look up to in Riverdance,” she said. “The fact that I can be that for someone else is an amazing thing for me. The opportunity to perform with Riverdance is a huge deal. But when I think about the fact that I’m one of few Black dancers who got to do this, and have gotten to this point, it is pretty surreal.”
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